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Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs

From: Rui Miguel Seabra
Subject: Re: Use of GPL'd code with proprietary programs
Date: Wed, 07 Jul 2004 22:17:26 +0100

On Wed, 2004-07-07 at 18:57 +0000, Tim Smith wrote:
> On 2004-07-07, Rui Miguel Seabra <> wrote:
> > Book references have zero in common with software libraries.
> >
> > You can read the book without looking at the references.
> >
> > You can't run the program without the software libraries.
> >
> > See the light?
> Suppose X requires Y to function.  Later, someone provides Y2, which is a
> compatible clean-room implementation of Y, so that X will function with Y2.
> Under your interpretation, X would be a derivative work of Y up until the
> time Y2 is written, and then would no longer be a derivative work.

Notice that that could be seen as a way to circunvent copyright law,
which would be seen as a violation in itself.

> This is legally absurd.  The status of X as a derivative work of something
> is independent entirely on conditions at the time of creation of X.  It cannot
> change by the subsequent creation of new works.

It is a different work, because Y2 is different from Y.

> The relationship "depends on in order to function" is simply outside the
> scope of copyright law.

Software has many niceties. One of them is that certain things are
equivalent to others. Some software needing a library to work is the
same as a book comprising of some stuff by one author and some stuff by
others, written at different times.

It still boils down to: to include said software you need to agree with
the authors license, since NOTHING ELSE allows you to recast the

Executing software is the equivalent to casting.


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